Bran Antioxidant Could be used as Natural Preservative

Aug, 2020 - By SMI

Bran Antioxidant Could be used as Natural Preservative

Researchers found bran antioxidant to have the potential as a natural preservative.

Bran antioxidant helps in preserving food for longer time and is capable of replacing synthetic antioxidants that are currently used by the food industries. This potential of antioxidants in bran grain was found by researchers at Penn State.

A class of compounds called alkylresorcinols (AR) was studied by the researchers. Plants such as wheat, rye, and barley produce ARs naturally, thereby preventing growth of mold, bacteria, and other organisms on the grain kernels.

According to a review published in European Food Research and Technology, ARs possess health benefits for humans and can help protect against cancer, making them ideal natural additives. ARs are obtained from the bran layer of cereal plants, which are usually discarded by the food industries or are used as animal feed. A technique to extract and purify ARs from rye bran was developed by the researchers. Then, they studied how well ARs were able to preserve omega 3-rich oils in emulsions, where two fluids do not fully mix, such as vinegar and oil. The researchers chose to study AR action in emulsions because most people consume oils as emulsions, in salad dressings, for example.

The researchers found that ARs did act as antioxidants in an emulsion, preventing omega 3 oils from spoiling as rapidly as they did in emulsions with no antioxidants added. Then, they compared ARs to two antioxidants widely used by the food industry – alpha-tocopherol or vitamin E, a natural antioxidant; and butylated hydroxytoluene, a synthetic antioxidant. However, ARs were not as effective as either the natural or the synthetic antioxidant.

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